The Explanations of the Bill Introducing New Voting Laws in Texas

The Texas voting bill would place new restrictions on absentee voting and empower partisan poll watchers.Credit...Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

The Texas bill that suggested numerous rules for voting restrictions is set to move forward this week.

Texas is one of the last states where new voting laws are being introduced due to their Republican majority in the Houses, after Florida and Georgia.

An omnibus bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Friday at 3 p.m which is passed into law will introduce a few voting rules that might suppress votes of the people of color. The bill was already passed by both houses once last month and now the legislation came to the Senate after a few amendments softening the original rules.

The most likely option for this bill would be that some members of the legislature would gather and map out a final version of the bill which will be sent to both Houses for a final vote where no amendments will be allowed. The unlikely path for the bill would be that the Senate would concur with the version of the bill put forward by the House and it would be sent to the Governor’s desk, which has been publicly supportive of the bill.

The bill bars election officials from sending out absentee ballots or mailing forms for them. This bill also empowers partisan poll watchers who would be allowed to take photos and videotape activities outside any polling booth. This would grant them closer access to the voters and make the jobs of election officials harder. New penalties are being set by the bill for election officials who provide any rule-violating assistance to the voters.

A few new amendments were introduced to the bill by the Democrats which included the expansion of voter access where judges would be required to inform a citizen if their conviction will disallow them from voting. On Thursday and Friday, some late-night alterations were made. The bans on drive-through voting were lifted and so was the ban for 24-hour voting service. Some new rules for voting machine allocation were also placed.

These amendments by the Democrats could however be easily dropped by the conference committee of the Senate and the previous provisions could be added again.

Democrats are protesting against the bill including some of the leading Democrats in the city. These protests might not make a difference now but would play a huge role during the re-election of the Texas governor set to take place in 2022.

Major companies have also spoken out against the Texas bill and a coalition of a number of major companies and local businesses have signed a letter condemning the bill but it has brought no change in the course of the bill.

The Democratic lawyers have ensured the people that they would file a lawsuit once this bill is signed into law since these Texas proposals have been considered as measures of voter suppression.

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